NEW LEGISLATION FACILITATES RENEWABLE DEVELOPMENT VIA GRID ENHANCING TECHNOLOGIES (GETs)
Bill Introduced in US House of Representatives to Improve Grid Interconnection Process and Expand the use of GETs on the US Electric Grid
Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, has introduced the Efficient Grid Interconnection Act of 2021. This bill integrates Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) into the process that System Operators and Transmission Owners undertake when an interconnection customer, such as a renewable generator or energy storage provide, requests connection to the grid.
The legislation is a timely response to the steady increase that renewable developers have seen to connection wait times and costs over the past decade. GETs have been shown to double the amount of renewables that can connect to the grid compared to traditional approaches to infrastructure upgrades.
The bill requires System Operators to study the efficacy of deploying GETs either in addition to or in substitution of traditional transmission upgrades or additions and enables the interconnection customer to request GETs be deployed, although the ultimate decision on deployment rests with the Transmission Owner.
“Coming from the wind industry, I understand the pain that renewable developers feel as they wait years and pay upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars to interconnect to the grid. This legislation would ensure that fast, low-cost solutions like Smart Wires and other GETs are considered as grid operators seek to resolve the system constraints created when new generators connect,” commented Peter Wells, Smart Wires CEO.
Mark Freyman, Smart Wires General Manager of the Americas, said, “This legislation would complement efforts already underway at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to increase alignment as Transmission Owners contemplate implementing these flexible and efficient technologies. It’s very encouraging to see multiple branches of the US Federal Government coming together to tackle various challenges associated with achieving President Biden’s goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.”